Friday, May 2, 2014

Empress of Moorish “Washitaw Nation” Dies in California, Age 87


A Louisiana woman who founded a Native American–inspired “empire” with elements of both 1960s-style Black nationalism and the modern “sovereign citizens” movement died on April 26th at her home in California at the age of 87.

Flag of the Washitaw Nation
Verdiacee Hampton-Goston, as she was legally known, was an African-American from Louisiana who also claimed ancestry in the local Ouachita tribal group and preferred to be known as Verdiacee Washington-Turner Goston El-Bey, Empress of the Washitaw Nation—though the federally recognized Caddo Nation of Louisiana and Oklahoma, which represents most Ouachitas, had no formal connection with her.

“Moorish Science” religions date to the 1920s.
The Washitaw Nation (in full, it is called the Official Empire Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah) is in many ways an offshoot of the “Moorish Science” movement, a precursor to modern Black nationalism which emerged in the ferment of religious and political ideas in 1920s and ’30s Detroit, Michigan, where Islam, Freemasonry, offbeat anthropological theorizing, and an infatuation with all things Egyptian and occultic gave rise to Marcus Garvey and the Nation of Islam’s founder, Elijah Muhammad, among others.  Hampton-Goston believed that her Washitaw ancestors were actually African-featured “Israelites” (this is known as the “Paleo-Negroid” hypothesis) and that she was their rightful empress and thus sovereign of traditional territories that she felt were illegitimately transferred from Napoleon Bonaparte to Thomas Jefferson in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase.  She spent most of her imperial career living in Oklahoma and was even for a while mayor of Richwood, Oklahoma.

The Empress’s territorial claims were not particularly modest,
but she didn’t press them.
Hampton-Goston claimed to be rightful empress of the entire territory of the Louisiana Purchase, which includes four U.S. states, parts of nine others, and even a decent slice of Canada.  She claimed this right through “matriarchal descent.”  (Most of the indigenous nations in the Louisiana Purchase territory have always, unlike the Ouachita and Caddo, practiced patrilineal, not matrilineal, descent, but, listen, this was hardly the most serious vulnerability in her arguments.)

Looks official—but don’t try using it as I.D.
The number of those who counted themselves Hampton-Goston’s imperial subjects is unknown, but they certainly included a large extended family.  In later years, the Washitaws adopted legal strategies that borrowed heavily from the “sovereign citizens” movement, a vaguely anarcho-libertarian tax-protest phenomenon which otherwise mainly attracts disaffected conservative rural whites.  But—unlike a more high-profile Moorish Science splinter group, the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, which was shut down by authorities in Georgia in 2005—Hampton-Goston stayed clear of troubles with the authorities.  She was once investigated for tax evasion, but the charges were dropped.  (She claimed identity theft caused the misunderstanding.)  She was also once arrested for shooting two pigs in Monroe, Oklahoma.  But charges were brought instead against the animals’ owner, for keeping them within city limits.

How to get pulled over in rural Oklahoma
The Empress was also the author of a book called Return of the Ancient Ones, which encapsulated many of her ideas.

The idea of “indigenous” “Black Israelites” appeals to many politically disaffected
African-Americans in places like Atlanta.
A long-time friend, Vicki Williams, said of Hampton-Goston, “She had her strong beliefs that everybody was supposed to be treated equal no matter what their color, what their race was or what they believed in or what kind of valuable they had.”  Another friend, Umar Bey, of Los Angeles, was quoted as saying, “She was a very spiritual woman.  She had a direct connection to God.  She could think about something and go to sleep and wake up with the information she needed.”  Hampton-Goston niece, Zelia Logan-Smith, age 66, said her aunt’s ashes would be returned to Monroe and scattered in a private ceremony.  Logan-Smith added, “She was one step from a genius.  She would say, ‘When you walk through the jungle, you have to be as harmless as a dove, but as wise as a serpent.’”


[You can read more about the Washitaw Nation, the Nuwaubians, and many other separatist and new-nation movements, both famous and obscure, in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar.  The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon.  Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this interview for more information on the book.]




Her anthropological theories were a tad wonky,
but the woman knew how to accessorize.

13 comments:

  1. Richwood(which is in Ouachita Parish..because we don't have counties in Louisiana), LOUISIANA ...NOT Oklahoma... Monroe, LOUISIANA.. Not Oklahoma ...

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  2. Her anthropological theories were not wonky at all. The only thing is that I disagree that we came across from Africa 3,000 before Christ. I think that the time line was much much older. I think that we have been here forever. There is no telling how old we are as a people. We are probably several billions of years old. Maybe even light years old in age, being that we possess the God particle in us. Then, we are timeless. I wish that more honor was given to the Empress because she had such priceless information about our history in America. We are truly the first people of America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do she not have any heirs to replace her?

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  3. This article is a complete disgrace. Using the term like African American which is the name of two continents by the way not a people. We are Moors! The indigenous/aboriginal peoples of America. Europeans are the foreigners! Look up Webster's 1828 definition of an American. Research the early explorers of the Americas! Even columbus himself has spoken of the people from Africa coming to America and doing trade! The early explorers also talk about the dark complexion and comparinging them to Ethiopians and Indian = Indigo meaning dark. Not "black" but "dark" skinned people!!! So stop with your obviously biases against the true indigenous/aboriginal people of America. Look up the early painters and etc! The proof of us being here before the slave trade is out there! They have estimated that 12 million were shipped to America. But only about 300,000 actually made it to what is now known as the United States! Then next thing you know we are turned into 4 million freed? Something doesn't add up! Also were are all these thousands of American slave ships? How were they able to take wooden boats and pille 200-400 slaves + captian and crew members on one ship? What did they eat and drink? How did they survive the dangerous Atlantic ocean? I can pose so many questions. But like all invading foreigners they will pull the your a conspiracy theories or your a self hater embrace your African slavery ancestry card. All of you are nothing but invading colonists like your forefathers and mothers. This is not your land!

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  4. My dear brother moor

    Given that most aboriginal suffer or àre under full enchantment of the white wash of our story by the European invaders your rigorous assertions feel like an rant. You probes into the logic (or illogical) of the numbers is a good start that is best finished with brief yet compelling proof and corraboration. It seems to me that two facts are mixed ( to cause confusion )1.early and or original americans that look like who many call Africans were here eons ago and here when the Europeans invaded. 2.some "africans" were brought from "Africa" 3. Dark skinned "african" people are through our the world a long long time ago.

    What portion of current day "african" looking people or moors are descendents of the original people is the real issue and how we coalesce to take back what is "ours" ( all non white people are now in this together) and act in a self determined way pruducing justice for ourselves and those who are willing to be civilized living with us - the originators of civilizations.

    Please in you next entry give books and references that prove the truth and that destroy the myths and musinformation. Just gives us the facts and the proofs.

    Man Producing Justice

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  5. They are a SOVEREIGN NATION!
    Not Sovereign Citizens.
    The governent refuses to recognize the Washitaws. That is the method by which the Invading Europeans took this land from all of the Indigenous people living here, by claiming they did not exist, neither as individuals, nor as nations!

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    Replies
    1. It isn't for them to recognize. Keep living the lie and take it with you when you die.

      Delete
  6. If you take the enemies, reification of who ,and what we are then that's your problem.

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  7. If you take the enemies, reification of who ,and what we are then that's your problem.

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  8. Shalom
    If we are going to have any serious dialogue about waging war on the European then it can't be broadcasted over the www for them to see!!!!!!
    Secondly whenever GODS PEOPLE DEFEATED THEIR ENemies our creator did our bidding for us and we destroyed them because we had the spirit of the most high on our side.So scripture tells us that this Edomite is a murderer and has Gods permission to steal from us because our ancestors rebelled against God..So I suggest that instead of combat why not just collectively pool our monies,property and resources to build a home for our people which as adequate security force to protect it basically love each other and share to grow us a sovereign group ?!!!!!

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  9. Great Eternity.
    We are ready for repentance. We are ready for restoration. YHWH is ready to lead us into both the new Heavens and the new earth. The book is titled "Return of the Ancient Ones"! This has already happened without Massa's knowledge nor permission. It's rumored that albinos are less than 1% world wide. In 5 years children will ask "Have you ever seen a live albino, not just in books?" This is pure natural order. YHWH limits all kingdoms which defy Him in the process of stealing from and killing His children. We are safe and free from harm. Let us rejoice and vibrantly praise Him for He is worthy. Scriptures foretell the wonderful anointed beautiful end for some; and beginning for others. rise and continue forward and upward HalleluYah! [SMILE]

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  10. Washitaw Muurs are NOT Indigenous Americans! They are a Black racist Afrocentric organization thinking they sovereign but have no proof. This lady was obviously misinformed. She lied saying blacks are the real Natives no blacks are from Africa not the Americas. They even stole tribal names to justify their black Native rubbish. That should show anything they are nothing but wannabees.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you we have been arguing with these wannabes for a long time. I'm glad that they are being exposed as a cult.

      Delete

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